Chris Norbury's Reviews > The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild by Jack London
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it was amazing
bookshelves: timeless-favorites

I've read this book two or three other times in the past, and it's still one of my all-time favorites. London truly understood the "call of the wild" meaning the attraction/fascination modern men/women have with pure wilderness such as existed in Alaska and the Yukon during the Alaska Gold Rush in the 1890s-1900s.

London paints a masterful portrait of the de-evolution of the "civilized" Buck as he is abducted, sent to Alaska to be a sled dog, eventually gains his independence, and becomes more or less the King of the Wolves in his world. That de-evolution is also a metaphor for reminding us that humans are also animals who have the same base instincts and could easily succumb to our wild and violent urges (as we have so many times in the past when we go to war against each other and seek to be the Alpha wolves.

London also had a marvelous, lyrical style of prose that understates the emotion, danger, violence, and hardship of surviving in the wild. And when he looked at the world through the eyes and mind of Buck, I felt it was an outstanding imagining of how wild or near wild animals deal with their world.

The reason I reread this book is that I just saw the 2020 movie starring Harrison Ford, the animatronic dog, Buck, and computerized scenery for almost the entire movie. I can't recommend it mainly because the movie doesn't capture the essence of the book, humanizes Buck far too much, and changes the plot to where it's only a skeleton of the book. The whole feel was that the movie was sanitized to be more of a kid-friendly story starring the good-hearted, lovable Buck.

I can't recommend this book highly enough, especially for lovers of the outdoors and wilderness, and anyone who's ever ventured into one of the shrinking wildernesses left in the world for more than a day or two.

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Reading Progress

February 26, 2020 – Started Reading
February 26, 2020 – Shelved
February 28, 2020 – Finished Reading
February 29, 2020 – Shelved as: timeless-favorites

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